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DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m getting married soon. Planning the wedding has been stressful for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons has been my fiance’s groomsmen. One of the groomsmen’s girlfriends is extremely jealous and does not want him walking down the aisle with any of my bridesmaids. She is demanding that her boyfriend walk down the aisle alone. My fiance has tried to resolve the issue to no avail. My solution is to kick him out of the wedding and uninvite the girlfriend (I barely know her). Would this be unfair? — Added Stress
DEAR ADDED STRESS: As tempting as it may be to kick him out of the wedding and uninvite them, that may be a bit extreme. Instead, invite them simply as guests. If the groomsman and your fiance are close, uninviting his girlfriend will seriously hurt your relationship moving forward. I’m going to say that isn’t worth it. It sounds like this man and his girlfriend have their own issues around trust that are larger than your bridal party. It could also simply be that she doesn’t understand how weddings work. It is common for groomsmen to walk with whomever is assigned to them, regardless of their relationship status. The bridal party stands up for the couple getting married and are not supposed to represent their individual relationships. Either way, make sure you and your fiance are on the same page regarding what to do about the groomsman, and move on.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My father is growing older, and he has a lot of medical issues. His insurance is running out, and he needs the family to pitch in and help cover his bills. I have one brother who makes a ton of money. The rest of my siblings and I are barely scraping by. We assumed our brother would step in and take over our dad’s debt, but that hasn’t happened. Instead, the rest of us are struggling to pay dad’s bills and our own. How can we address this with our brother to get him to help more? — Please Help
DEAR PLEASE HELP: You say that you and your siblings assumed your wealthy brother would pick up your dad’s tab, but did anyone talk to him about this directly? You cannot make assumptions about how other people spend their money — or even about what they know about the crisis at hand. Your brother may not be paying attention in the way that you are. He may also think that everyone assumes he will pay for everything because he has money, which could be a sore spot for him.
Whatever the case may be, you need to speak frankly with him about the situation and make a specific ask. Ideally, all siblings would make some kind of contribution to your father’s care based upon your ability to give. Some may offer time if they live close by. Others may offer home-cooked meals, while perhaps your brother can offer dollars. If you present a plan that shows that you are all contributing, your brother may be more comfortable participating as well.